“Your job’s a joke, your broke, your love life’s DOA….”
I don’t know about you but I was wholly unprepared for my 20’s. No ever told me it would be this hard. There were no warnings. I had no idea that I would receive my diploma then get swiftly kicked out into the real world. Go find a job. Grow up. Be responsible. Pay your bills. Act like an adult…… Well it is much harder than they make it look in the movies.
Everyone knows that your teen years will be hard. There are entire rows of books dedicated to coping with this time in your life. Self-help books, psychiatric books, parenting books and even countless teen movie dramas. We all know how embarrassing puberty is, how hard high school is and how much a first heartbreak can hurt.
But no one ever told me life after college would be this hard. So if you are approaching college graduation here is my official warning: real life is not filled Sunday fundays, or bar crawls or toga parties. There are no weekly beer pong games or flip cup. You can’t skip your early morning classes because people expect you to show up at work. You probably won’t live with your five best friends. The amount of bills you have to pay will use most of your hard-earned paycheck. There are no themed parties, greek weeks, or early morning hungover In-and-Out runs. You can’t live on a burrito diet like you used to in college. Your life will change.
The first few months will be the hardest. You will pack up your life and move home. You will take a look around at the boxes of your former life sitting in your childhood bedroom and feel a sense of emptiness. You will slowly start to throw away the things that you will not need anymore including your beer pong balls, themed (but inappropriate) costumes and you will pack away all of your sorority crafts.
The first year will be a bumpy one filled with highs and lows. The first time you go back to your college town to visit and realize that things will never be the same. You’ll feel jealous of your friends who stayed and decided to get jobs and settle there. But at the same time you will feel happy that you chose to leave, knowing that college was over and real life needed to start.
You will get a job. Eventually. And start to pay bills. You’ll reconnect with your friends from home. You’ll start to see a future for yourself. You’ll fall into a routine.
And then slowly you will start to enjoy your life. You will start to experience little victories like pay raises and promotions. You will find a place and move out of your parents house. You will make enough money to do things that you enjoy. You will start planning out your life and picturing how great it will be.
And college will start to seem like a distant memory. It will no longer be your life. It will become a piece of your former self, the immature girl that you used to be. Sure that girl still shows herself sometimes, usually when too much wine is involved, but she mostly remains tucked inside memories and reminiscent thoughts.